Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: September 2014

Weekend Cheat Sheet: September 2014

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Along with football and oysters, fall marks the kickoff of another wondrous season of theater. Spend a weekend “bravo-ing” your way from one spectacular (and delectable) performance to another, whether it’s comedy or crepes!

maisarepas1Friday

Lunch at: Doing its part to reinvigorate Central City, Mais Arepas is a casual, neighborhood restaurant offering Colombian-inspired cuisine and specializing in arepas (thick, pan-fried flat bread made from cornmeal). Stuffed with everything from plantains and grilled chorizo to fried pork belly and mozzarella, these arepas will leave you stuffed … and coming back for more. Mais Arepas also regularly offers mouth-watering specials like mofongos rellenos (crispy plantain cups filled with skirt steak or grilled chicken), juicy chuzos (Colombian kebabs), and aborrajados (sweet plantain fritters filled with mozzarella). 1200 Carondolet St., (504) 523.6247, facebook.com/maisarepas

Sip at: Celebrate the end of one season and the beginning of another with an infamous hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter. For over 80 years, this landmark bar has been serving the thirsty of New Orleans, both tourists and locals alike. If you’d rather skip the hurricane, then try a Rainbow (made from grenadine, vodka, blue curaçao, and Pat O’Brien’s own sweet and sour mix) or a Rainstorm (concocted with vodka, melon liqueur, coconut rum and pineapple juice). Grab a spot by the flaming fountain in the beautiful, brick courtyard — it’s like a tropical paradise in an Irish bar located in the heart of the Vieux Carre. Laissez les bon temps rouler! 718 St. Peter St., (504) 525-4823, patobriens.com

Applaud at: One of the nation’s longest operating community theaters, Le Petit Theatre, has been newly restored and is ready for the 2014-15 season with a ton of fantastic shows for the months ahead. The first production launching this month is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a comedic play written by Christopher Durang. Inspired by characters and settings from the works of Anton Chekhov, the story revolves around three middle-aged siblings that are living together, bickering, complaining and never growing up. Delight in the new and improved digs, while laughing the night away — it’ll definitely be an evening to remember. 616 St. Peter St., (504) 522-2081, lepetittheatre.com

Saturday

Breakfast at: Mother, baker and restaurateur extraordinaire, Cara Benson of the popular Uptown lunch spot Tartine, has done it once again — but this time with breakfast. Opened recently, Toast is one of the most popular spots in New Orleans to break your fast, featuring … well … toast! Benson’s handmade brioche is thickly sliced, toasted and topped with tastiness like avocado and egg; cream cheese and lox; or honey, prosciutto and ricotta cheese. Toast also offers savory and sweet crepes, Benson’s beatific baked goods (like muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls), omelets and aebelskivers (Danish puffed pancakes with powdered sugar). Seating is at a premium in this tiny cafe on Laurel Street, but it’s certainly worth the wait. 5433 Laurel St., (504) 267-3260, toastneworleans.com

Dine at: Located on the ever-growing Freret Street corridor, Mint Modern Bistro & Bar is serving Vietnamese classics in an environment that encourages guests to come in, sit at the bar and hang out for awhile. Although the usual suspects like egg rolls, pho and banh mi take their rightful places on the menu, Mint also offers a taste of something different with items like bacon and crab rangoons, a kimchi burger with sweet potato fries and a version of chicken and waffles. Dining note: The crispy hen and the Vietnamese iced coffee should not be missed. 5100 Freret St., (504) 218-5534, mintmodernbistro.com

Laugh at: The Gulf Coast’s premier training facility for improvisational comedy, and home of the Comedy Conservatory, La Nuit Comedy Theater is so much more than a venue. Located on the corner of Freret and Soniat streets, La Nuit offers classes, corporate training, private parties, road shows and weekly shows that feature live music and open-mic comedy performances. Enjoy the music of the Panorama Jazz Band, and stay for Free Open Mic Standup (it draws both experienced and amateur comedians from all over the GNO). The theater also features ComedySportz matches with two improvisational teams competing for laughs and points. 5039 Freret St., (504) 231-7011, nolacomedy.com

Sunday

Revive at: The sign outside of this oddly angular building in the Marigny simply says “coffee,” but locals (and regular tourists) know that this particular cafe is dubbed The Orange Couch. Located on the corner of Royal and Mandeville streets, this modern cafe is known for its well-made espresso drinks and for its large, orange couch in the center of an otherwise pristine white interior. Grab a seat inside or out, and enjoy a cuppa joe crafted from local roasters Orleans Coffee Exchange. If you have a sweet tooth, The Orange Couch is also a great spot to indulge in mochi ice cream (with flavors that range from green tea to mango). 2239 Royal St., (504) 267-7327, theorangecouchcoffee.com

Savor a slice at: What began as a Sunday night pop-up restaurant in Bywater has now become a bastion of New York-style pizza in New Orleans. Opened over two years ago by Michael Friedman and Greg Augarten, Pizza Delicious offers locals simple, cheesy creations using fresh ingredients and a lot of skill. Try their popular Margherita pie with fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, nutty Parmesan and basil from their own backyard. Pizza Delicious also offers pizza-by-the-slice, bright salads and special pasta plates like crispy paneed pork and linguine, and bucatini carbonara with pancetta, peas and a farm-fresh egg. Be forewarned: The pizzeria gets packed on weekend nights, so be prepared to order out or claim a table outside next to the herb garden. 617 Piety St., (504) 676-8482, pizzadelicious.com

Watch the music at: Housed in what was originally the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Marigny Opera House is a “non-denominational, neighborhood church of the arts” supported by the Marigny Opera House Foundation. Founders Scott King and David Hurlbert purchased the property in 2011 in the hopes of restoring the historic building and offering the space to the community. Enjoy local performances of classic and contemporary opera, dance, art exhibitions and music in this unique and captivating space. 725 St Ferdinand St., (504) 948-9998, marignyoperahouse.org